Development of new analytical tools to study the physiology/pharmacology of the ageing gastrointestinal tract.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Brighton
Department Name: Sch of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences

Abstract

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Description Our PDRA visited the Swain lab in Michigan State University and has been trained in techniques to isolate EC cells from intact sections of colon.

Initial experiments allowed us to reach purification levels of 20%, however, since her return from Michigan she has managed to improve the isolation procedure and is now obtaining cultures that are close to 50% pure. Improvements included coating cover slips with poly-D-lysine previous to incubation with isolated cells, optimisation of concentrations of dissociation enzymes, accurate control of incubation temperatures, adjustment of density gradients to optimise the dissociation technique for mouse tissue.

We are currently performing experiments to look at monitoring 5-HT release using electrochemical techniques. A PDRA from the Swain lab will be visiting over the summer vacation this year with individually addressable microelectrode array, which was designed by Dr Patel in conjunction with the Fraunhofer Institute at Michigan State University. With these devices we aim to measure 5-HT release at multiple points along the colon and correlate these findings with mechanical and electrical recordings of colonic migrating motor complexes which are important motor patterns for driving the movement of the intestinal contents through the colon. This work has led to a publication in Analytical Chemistry (3D Printed Molds Encompassing Carbon Composite Electrodes To Conduct Multisite Monitoring in the Entire Colon; DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03148).

We have managed to increase the purity of our dissociated enterochromaffin cells to close to 95% and are currently involved in examining 5-HT release from these cells.The visit from the Swain lab has allowed them to develop recordings from the GI tract in the Swain/Galligan labs at Michigan State and this transfer of technology has allowed them to publish two publications utilising this technology in the US lab.
Exploitation Route The research can provide direction for development of new drug entities to alter gastrointestinal motility by targeting EC cells The findings from these studies will provide insight into the function and regulation of the enterochromaffin (EC) cell. This is an important mucosal cell line that modulates motility and ion transport. The studies provided will provide rapid analysis of the key regulatory components of the EC cell and thus provide an insight toward new targets for therapeutic agents.
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Title Enterochromaffin isolation from murine colon 
Description Isolation and characterization of murine enterochromaffin cells from the colon 
Type Of Material Biological samples 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None currently 
 
Title Multi-sensor array for monitoring 5-HT release from colonic mucosa 
Description Multi-sensor array for monitoring 5-HT release from colonic mucosa 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None currently 
 
Description Development of novel tools to study the physiology and pharmacology of the ageing gastrointestinal tract 
Organisation Michigan State University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution BBSRC ISIS award (BB/IO25409/1)
Start Year 2011
 
Description STEM Sussex event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop highlighting the role played by the senses in nutrition and the function of the gastrointestinal tract and how it changes with age
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description STEM Sussex event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We have a stand booked at STEM Sussex, Crawley for the 6th July to disseminate some of our findings on the ageing bowel to an audience of school, children aged 7-11 years old. This is a one day event designed to familiarise school children with the workings of the GI tract and the effects that age has on the function of the GI tract Large model of GI tract that school children can walk though and examine. Lab test to look at taste and how taste regulates physiological functions.

No recordable impacts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description STEM Sussex event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Stimulated thought and increased knowledge in a group of school children aged 11-19 years ol

Stand was one of the most highly rated by the students in the show. Interactive and engaging.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description STEM Sussex event at the South of England show ground 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Demonstration and participation in events stimulated lots of talk with the school children about their aims and aspirations and potential future ewmployment

Stand was voted the best in show and we have been asked to return next year, with a bigger interactive stand
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014